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Wednesday,27-January-2021

National

Fully satisfied with SAI Bengaluru’s measures: Narinder Batra

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Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra on Wednesday said that he spoke to officials and players at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Bengaluru centre and is convinced that none of them interacted with the person who died due to a cardiac arrest, but also tested positive for coronavirus.

“I have been in touch with Hockey India and I am fully satisfied with the way SAI Bangalore center has been kept safe and sanitised,” said Batra.

“SAI administration is doing its best to handle the issue at hand and there is no reason to panic. We have spoken to officials and players staying in SAI Bangalore, it is clear that none of them have interacted with the person who tested Covid positive. Any report suggesting that they did, is incorrect.”

SAI said on Wednesday that the Senior Director in charge of the centre has been directed to take all necessary precautions as per the health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to ensure that all players and staff housed inside the campus are safe.

The centre is where a number of leading Indian athletes have been staying throughout the lockdown that started on March 25.

Among the athletes who are at the facility include India men’s and women’s senior hockey players and 10 members of the athletics squad who are all training for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

The incident now means that the players will have to be confined to their rooms and the facility will be sanitised as per the protocol.

The development comes at a time when the Sports Ministry and SAI are formulating a plan for outdoor training to resume in Bengaluru and the National Institute of Sport (NIS) in Patiala for athletes who are bound for the Olympics or in the fray for qualification.

National

One of the grittiest batters in the game, Cheteshwar Pujara turns 33

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Cheteshwar Pujara on Monday turned 33 and his teammates, including Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin, led the pouring in of wishes for India’s Test batting mainstay.

During the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia, Pujara faced a total of 928 balls — the fifth-most by a visiting batsman in Australia in four or fewer Tests.

He scored 271 runs at a strike rate of 33.88, with the help of 29 fours and played a key role in India’s remarkable Test series victory, which included a historic win at the Gabba in Brisbane. As India chased down 328 in the final innings, Pujara endured as amany as 11 blows but put up a “great wall” against the Aussie onslaught.

During the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar series Down Under, Pujara had faced a total of 1,258 deliveries and had scored 521 runs at an average of 74.43 and a strike rate of 41.21 with the help of 50 fours and two sixes.

“Happy birthday pujji. Wish you good health, happiness and more hours at the crease. Have a great year ahead,” tweeted India skipper Kohli.

“He makes playing hours of cricket look easy and is one of the strongest guys I know. Happy birthday Puji,” said Ajinkya Rahane, who led India to their second Test series win in Australia, in an Instagram story.

“He takes body blows, grinds it out in the middle, braves it all & stands tall. 81 Tests, 6111 runs, 13572 balls faced, 18 hundreds. Here’s wishing Team India’s Mr. Dependable Cheteshwar Pujara a very happy birthday,” the official Twitter handle of BCCI said in their wishes.

“Happy birthday to the Wall 2.0 Cheteshwar Pujara. One of the grittiest batters in the game,” said the International Cricket Council (ICC) while extending birthday wishes.

Ashwin posted a video on social media to wish Pujara and termed the Indian batsman “Rock of Gibraltar”. In the video, Ashwin’s daughter can be seen extending birthday greetings to Pujara.

“Many more happy returns of the day Rock of Gibraltar Cheteshwar Pujara, can’t thank you enough for being my bunny though,” Ashwin said.

“Wishing you a very happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara bhai. May you continue winning games for India and score a lot of runs,” said Umesh Yadav.

“Wishing a very happy birthday Birthday @cheteshwar1 who put his body on the line for the country proud of the brave fight you gave the Aussies! Best wishes for the England series,” tweeted Yuvraj Singh.

Pujara has played a total of 81 Tests for India in which he has scored 6,111 runs. Besides, he has also played five ODIs for the Men in Blue in which he amassed 51 runs.

He will next be seen in action in the four-match Test series against England beginning February 5 in Chennai.

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Shikhar Dhawan’s boat ride spells trouble for boatman

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Shikhar-Dhawan

Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan’s boat ride on the Ganga river in Varanasi, has landed the boatman in trouble.

Dhawan was seen in photographs, feeding birds during a boat ride.

Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma told a news agency that action would be taken against the boatman but not the tourist.

“It was made clear by the police and the administration to the boatmen that they should not allow the tourists on their boat to feed the birds. Whosoever flouted these rules will be served notice and they will be asked as to why their license should not be cancelled.

“No action will be taken against the tourists,” Sharma was quoted as saying by the media.

The state government has banned feeding of birds by tourists in the wake of the bird flu scare.

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England to start summer with two-Test series against Black Caps

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England will start their home international summer with a two-Test series against New Zealand beginning June 2, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Monday.

The two Tests will be played at Lord’s (June 2-6) and Edgbaston (June 10-14).

Then England will face Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series at Sophia Gardens (June 23 and 24) and The Ageas Bowl (June 26). These matches will be followed by a three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka between June 29 and July 4.

After the Sri Lanka series, England will take on Pakistan in three ODIs and as many T20Is from July 8 to 20.

“The prospect of our England men’s team taking on the world’s two top-ranked Test nations in New Zealand and India this summer is something for us all to savour,” ECB CEO Tom Harrison said in a statement.

Currently, the Joe Root-led England are in Sri Lanka participating in a two-match Test series. After that, they will be travelling to India to compete in four-match Test series, followed by five T20Is and three ODIs.

India will also be touring England for a five-match Test series, currently scheduled to begin from August 4 in Nottingham.

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